Our number four moment is what many consider to be the best goal in club history: the game-winning goal against North Carolina Courage in 2018. That year, Utah Royals FC was the only team to defeat North Carolina, including the playoffs. The eventual 2019 NWSL champions lost in the 94th minute on a beautiful ball sent into the box.
When asked about the goal, Brittany Ratcliffe said that her instincts were to slide and shoot the ball. She did, and she scored. Elise Thorsnes won a free kick on the near sideline, and Diana Matheson sent the ball into the box. It got cleared slightly and fell at the feet of a North Carolina player. Ratcliffe slid and got the ball, immediately got up and turned, and shot the ball into the back of the net.
It stunned everyone with how brilliant and unexpected it was. Carla Swensen-Haslam and Tom Werme, commentating on the game, were super excited when the goal happened. Their reactions replicated what URFC fans were feeling, with excitement and happiness in their voices. The game was in North Carolina, so few Utah Royals fans were in attendance, but that didn’t stop the fans from cheering.
This goal ended up being the NWSL’s Week 11/12 goal of the week and winning Utah Royals FC’s “Best moment in Club History” bracket tournament this past April, beating out the inaugural home opener and Rachel Corsie’s game-tying goal against the Thorns, among other nominated moments in club history.
This is my favorite moment on the field in the history of the team. We got to witness our team becoming the only team to beat NC Courage that season. Ratcliffe was my favorite player, and it was great to see her get a spectacular goal in the inaugural season. This moment will live on forever in our hearts and memories.